Udi Manber Leaves A9 to Join Google

Searchblog reports that Udi Manber, formerly the person in charge at A9 (Amazon.com’s search site) is heading to the Googleplex where he’ll now work. No word on what Manber’s title will be at Google. Amazon/A9 is replacing Manber with Dr. David Tennenhouse, who will take over as A9’s Chief Executive Officer.

From the Amazon.com news release:

[Tennenhouse] joins A9.com from Intel Corporation where he served as Vice President of the Corporate Technology Group and Director of Research. In addition to building Intel Research, he developed Intel’s proactive computing vision, drove several Intel Capital Investments and laid the technical ground work for its new Digital Health Group. Prior to joining Intel, Tennenhouse was Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Information Technology Office where he guided programs in several areas, including search, datamining, information management, machine learning and distributed computing. Additionally, Tennenhouse held positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and the Sloan School of Management.

We’ve blogged or mentioned several items about Manber since he’s been at A9 including:

+ Report from PC Forum Search Panel
Manber tells the audience, “In general, people will learn to use search better but have to invest the thinking–we are not in the mind reading business.”

+ Search as a Platform, Where is it Going: a Web 2.0 Panel (via Zawodny)

+ Webcast: A9’s Udi Manber speaks at the University of Washington, 2004

+ Battelle Interviews Udi Manber for Business 2.0

In recent months Google has hired several big Internet names including Vin Cerf and Louis Monier. Meanwhile, Yahoo is now the workplace of Andrei Broder and Ricardo Baeza-Yates.

Amazon’s A9 launched in September 2004. A little over a year ago A9 made news when the bfean offering egan offering “block view” or street level imagery for several large U.S. cities.

Last March, A9 began their OpenSearch initiative allowing webmasters and site owners the chance to add their own search buttons or columns to the A9 service.

Postscript From Danny:

Short AP story here, slightly longer Seattle PI story here.

Postscript From Barry:

Looks like not only the CEO left, but also the CTO. Greg Linden reports that A9’s CTO, Ruben Ortega, has also left A9. When Greg asked him why he left, he stated family reasons. But he also did add, “I was quite surprised by the news of Udi leaving. I knew we were doing executive level recruiting, but I was under the impression we were looking for my replacement, not Udi’s.”

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